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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Online window shopping in other languages

One of the neat things about the internet is the ability to visit websites from all over the world. Dream of buying that Maserati? It's easy to find them online, not just in the US but in Italy as well. Think that finding auto usate milano "car sales in Milano" won't help you because you don't happen to know Italian?

Google and other browsers will translate webpages for you. While not all of the words always translate from the language of the website into proper English, some terms are easy to guess without a translator, like vendita auto usate, auto is self explanatory, usate is sale, so it's easy to guess the phrase is used car sales.

More detailed information can be harder without a translation, through Google I can learn that
Antonino Aldo created Garage Del Parko was created back in 1978 with his son now in charge of the family business and a lifelong love of cars.

So, you can window shop for that dream European car or even make arrangements to buy a car from overseas and have it delivered. Either way the ability to compro auto usate compare auto sales, translate features, costs, and even be able to find online sources to change euros into dollars so you get an idea of what the car would cost in US dollars can all be done right from your home computer.

Companies Must Hire Again as Workers are Stretched to the Max Doing More With Less

ManpowerGroup, (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, is working to design more comprehensive solutions in securing displaced talent for hard-to-fill positions, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the overall April unemployment rate rose from March to 9 percent and 268,000 private sector jobs were created during the month.

"The edged up unemployment rate from 8.8 percent to 9.0 percent, while important, is not as strong of an indicator at this point in the economic cycle as new jobs created," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. "An improving labor market leads to increased individual confidence, and therefore, more new job seekers. This means it's possible that we could see the unemployment rate continue to inch up before heading back down."

ManpowerGroup continues to report on the talent crisis affecting organizations worldwide through its annual Talent Shortage Survey. Look for the 2011 report in the coming weeks. Although unemployment levels are improving in key world regions, companies continue to lack access to individuals with the right skills. As a growing range of issues, particularly fluctuating hiring criteria, slow the process of identifying the right talent, employers remain committed to doing more with less. Flexible workforces remain a top option for employers.

In this Human Age, the talent pools that organizations are able to access will determine their marketplace success. Their efforts to identify the right talent and to develop these workers with career-long training programs are fundamental to winning today's talent wars.

At January's World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ManpowerGroup announced it had identified that the world has entered the Human Age, where access to talent has replaced access to capital as the key competitive differentiator. With skilled individuals in increasingly short supply, businesses, governments and all institutions need to collaboratively work toward developing an adequate talent pipeline to turn today's complexities into their greatest opportunity.

About ManpowerGroup™

ManpowerGroup™ (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, creates and delivers high-impact solutions that enable our clients to achieve their business goals and enhance their competitiveness. With over 60 years of experience, our $19 billion company creates unique time to value through a comprehensive suite of innovative solutions that help clients win in the Human Age. These solutions cover an entire range of talent-driven needs from recruitment and assessment, training and development, and career management, to outsourcing and workforce consulting. ManpowerGroup maintains the world's largest and industry-leading network of nearly 3,900 offices in over 80 countries and territories, generating a dynamic mix of an unmatched global footprint with valuable insight and local expertise to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, across all industry sectors, small and medium-sized enterprises, local, multinational and global companies. By connecting our deep understanding of human potential to the ambitions of clients, ManpowerGroup helps the organizations and individuals we serve achieve more than they imagined – because their success leads to our success. And by creating these powerful connections, we create power that drives organizations forward, accelerates personal success and builds more sustainable communities. We help power the world of work. The ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™ and Right Management®. Learn more about how the ManpowerGroup can help you win in the Human Age at

In January 2011, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ManpowerGroup announced the world has entered the Human Age, where talent has replaced capital as the key competitive differentiator. Learn more about this new age at

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Ancient Religions Had Much in Common, Says Grawemeyer Winner

The ancient Christians had more in common with their Jewish and pagan neighbors than most people realize, says the winner of the 2011 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

Luke Timothy Johnson, a biblical scholar and senior fellow at Emory University, won the $100,000 prize for the ideas set forth in his 2009 book, "Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity."

Johnson proposes a new framework in the book for analyzing early Christianity in its religious, social and historical contexts. He shows that the Christians, Jews and pagans of ancient Rome and Greece shared certain ways of being religious regardless of their differences in doctrine.

Johnson's approach is "powerfully illuminating, not only for historical study but also for interfaith relations today," said award director Susan Garrett.

"He shows that if we want to see how early Christians differed from other religious people of their day, we first have to see how they were similar," Garrett said. "And he shines fresh light on the diverse religions of our contemporary world — a light that shows common ground where we thought there were only radical differences."

Johnson, a former Benedictine monk, is Robert C. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins in Emory's Candler School of Theology and senior fellow at its Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

His research focuses on the literary, moral and religious dimensions of the New Testament, including the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of early Christianity, Luke-Acts, the Pastoral Letters and the Letter of James.

He is a noted critic of The Jesus Seminar, a group of religious scholars formed in 1985, refuting their examination of Jesus as a purely historical figure. He also has disagreed with Vatican teaching, publicly declaring his support for same-sex partnerships and the ordination of women.

A prolific author, Johnson has written 27 books and more than 300 articles, lectures and reviews.

He holds a doctor of philosophy degree in New Testament from Yale University, a master of arts degree in religious studies from Indiana University, a master of divinity degree in theology from St. Meinrad School of Theology and a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame Seminary.

Five Grawemeyer Awards are presented annually for outstanding works in music composition, world order, psychology, education and religion. The University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary jointly award the religion prize.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Just one wikileaks back story example

Back when Arturo Beltrán Leyva was killed by Mexican Naval troops, the media covered the story as the Mexican government taking action that the U.S. applauded -- LINK:
Mexico was celebrating a rare victory in its war on drugs yesterday after one of the country’s most notorious traffickers was killed in a two-hour gun battle after 200 Navy Marines stormed his luxury hideout.

Arturo Beltrán Leyva, known as the “Boss of Bosses”, died along with six of his henchmen after the Marines surrounded a complex of flats in Cuernavaca, a holiday town south of Mexico City. Beltrán Leyva, also wanted in the US, was the highest-ranking figure to be taken out by the authorities and his death marks the biggest success yet in President Calderón’s campaign to stamp out the drugs trade.

The Marines, among Mr Calderón’s best-trained — and least corrupt — forces, had been planning the assault for months. They had tracked Beltrán Leyva’s movements since Friday, when they narrowly failed to capture him.

One of the embassy cables recently released by Wikileaks tells the back story:



Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Gustavo Delgado.
Reason: 1.4 (b),(d).

¶1. (S) Summary. Mexican Navy forces acting on U.S.
information killed Arturo Beltran Leyva in an operation on
December 16, the highest-level takedown of a cartel figure
under the Calderon administration. The operation is a clear
victory for the Mexican Government and an example of
excellent USG-GOM cooperation. The unit that conducted the
operation had recieved extensive U.S. training. Arturo
Beltran Leyva's death will not solve Mexico's drug problem,
but it will hopefully generate the momentum necessary to make
sustained progress against other drug trafficking
organizations. End Summary.

The Operation

¶2. (S) Mexican Navy (SEMAR) sources revealed on the night of
December 17 that SEMAR forces killed Arturo Beltran Leyva
(ABL), head of the Beltran Leyva Organization, during a
shoot-out in Cuernavaca (approximately 50 miles south of
Mexico City) that afternoon. At least three other cartel
operatives were killed during the raid, with a fourth
committing suicide. While it still has not been confirmed,
Embassy officials believe the latter to be ABL's brother,
Hector, which would mean that all Beltran Leyva brothers are
either dead or in prison. Arturo Beltran Leyva has a long
history of involvement in the Mexican drug trade, and worked
with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and his Sinaloa Cartel before
splitting in 2008. The rivalry between the Sinaloa and
Beltran Leyva organizations has been a key factor driving the
escalating levels of narcotics-related violence in recent
years. Born in Sinaloa, ABL has been key to the importation
and distribution of cocaine and heroin in the United States,
and also has extensive money laundering capabilities,
corruption networks, and international contacts in Colombia
and the U.S.

¶3. (C) Embassy law enforcement officials say that the arrest
operation targeting ABL began about a week prior to his death
when the Embassy relayed detailed information on his location
to SEMAR. The SEMAR unit has been trained extensively by
NORTHCOM over the past several years. SEMAR raided an
identified location, where they killed several ABL bodyguards
and arrested over 23 associates, while ABL and Hector
escaped. On Monday, the Embassy interagency linked ABL to an
apartment building located in Cuernavaca (about an hour south
of Mexico City), where ABL was in hiding. SEMAR initiated an
arrest operation on Wednesday afternoon, surrounding the
identified apartment complex, and establishing a security
perimeter. ABL's forces fired on the SEMAR operatives and
engaged in a sustained firefight that wounded three SEMAR
marines and possibly killed one. SEMAR forces evacuated
residents of the apartment complex to the gym, according to
press accounts, and no civilian casualties have so far been

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Seether kind of day

When things in my life get crazy, I turn to music. This election season the band you'll hear most often coming from my room is Seether -- I liked them before but lately the lyrics have some meaning to me. "Fake it" is one of my top five favorites, as well as recently discovering their version of "Careless Whisper" -- They have some of their videos on their website -- Songs like "Breakdown" another top five favorite of mine...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Do you read product reviews?

The amount of information the Internet brings us is pretty amazing, I'm one of those that takes the time to research products and large item purchases before I buy. Sometimes the consumer reviews on products makes me decide a product is for me, sometimes it makes me have second thoughts. Sometimes it helps me talk one of my daughters out of buying a product they've seen advertising on...Either way, from apidexin reviews to zicam reviews, it can pay off to take just a few moments to research before you buy...

Time's top viral campaign videos...

If you have some time, you might want to take a look at the Best viral campaign ads of 2010. I viewed all 29, didn't think all of them were that great, but I did agree a few were noteworthy:

Chuck Grassley

Dale Peterson, I wish he would have won too

Carly Fiorina's Demon Sheep of course made the list

John Hickenlooper's video is one I saw before and loved same with Mike Weinstein

Alan Grayson...has guts :-)

White Rabbits and other things

I can't help it but whenever I see any type of information or website related to weight loss pills I think of White Rabbit by then Jefferson Airplane. It's one of those automatic associations that those of a younger generation probably don't make. When I found the below YouTube of the song, the creator did a really nice job. So, a musical flash back moment...

Op-ed piece by Sherrod Brown

TEN years ago this fall the Senate sold out American manufacturing. By a vote of 83 to 15, it established so-called permanent normal trade relations with China, paving the way for that country to join the World Trade Organization. As a result, Chinese imports to the United States fell under the same low tariffs and high quotas as those from countries like Canada and Britain.

Today, though, our trade relations with China are anything but normal. The 2000 agreement’s proponents insisted it would enable a billion Chinese consumers to buy American products. Instead, our bilateral trade deficit has increased 170 percent, largely because China has undermined free-market competition through illegal subsidies and currency manipulation.

Unless the administration takes punitive steps in response to China’s unfair trade practices, the American economy — and the American worker — will continue to suffer.

The old agreement on trade with China was never really about promoting American manufacturing. Rather, it was a cynical ploy on the part of many multinational companies. They lobbied Congress to approve it, promising a boost to American exports; then, once it passed, they closed domestic plants, moved production overseas and sold their products back to American consumers.

As for those billion Chinese consumers? We now know that what the companies were really so excited about was a billion inexpensive Chinese workers.

True, our exports to China have increased. But reporting only exports is like reporting just one team’s score in baseball: the Cubs scoring five runs sounds good, until you hear that the Reds tallied 12.

Indeed, our exports pale in comparison to the torrent of artificially cheap Chinese imports. Economists, including free-traders, estimate that price manipulation keeps Chinese products 40 percent cheaper than comparable American-made goods.

Inexpensive products might sound nice, but we lose 13,000 net jobs for every $1 billion increase in our trade deficit. Our $226 billion deficit with China has meant shuttered factories, lost jobs and devastated communities across America.

And it’s no longer just Chinese bicycles and electronics that are flooding our markets. China will soon make half the world’s wind turbines and solar panels, most of which it plans to export to America. And, as usual, China’s clean-energy industry relies on large government subsidies, in direct violation of international trade laws.

In response, the Obama administration recently accepted a petition, filed by the United Steelworkers under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, to investigate China’s state support for clean-energy exports. If the White House finds that the support violates international trade rules, Section 301 allows it to respond with a range of aggressive measures, including tariffs.

This strategy has worked before: in the 1980s and ’90s, the United States used its 301 authority to combat Japanese and Korean subsidies and trade barriers. Though critics warned of bitter trade wars, the get-tough approach actually led to more balanced trade relationships, and even encouraged foreign investors, like Asian auto companies, to build plants in America.

In trying to get China to play fair, though, Washington has instead relied on rhetoric and moral suasion. It hasn’t worked. Only rigorous enforcement of trade rules by the Obama administration can reverse the harm caused by the permanent normal trade relations agreement.

Congress has a role to play, too: when the Senate reconvenes next month, it should vote, as the House did in September, to expand the president’s authority to impose tariffs on China or any other country that unfairly manipulates its currency.

Many politicians claim they support products “made in America.” But the phrase is more than an empty slogan; it means standing up for American manufacturers. Only by learning the lessons of “normal” trade with China — and acknowledging buyer’s remorse — can we reach a truly balanced bilateral relationship that works for America.

Senator Sherrod Brown

Report on Tea Party released

With all of the discussion this election cycle about the Tea Party, some of you may be interested in reading the report that was released today -- it can be downloaded and read at

A selection of some of the information contained in the report from the section on "Tea Parties - Racism, Anti-Semitism and the Militia Impulse":
Tea Party leaders have bristled at any mention of the racism, Christian nationalism and white supremacy that is a part of their movement. In several notable instances, people of color have been prominently put forward as speakers or entertainers at Tea Party rallies, as if to say: look, this is a racially diverse movement that wants to add more color to its ranks. Prominent among these few individuals has been Lloyd Marcus, previously mentioned in this report as a paid consultant of Tea Party Express.

Nevertheless, Confederate battle flags, signs that read “America is a Christian nation,” and racist caricatures of President Obama have been an undeniable presence at Tea Party events in both local communities and in Washington, D.C. The venom (and spittle) directed at African-American Congressmen during the health care debate carried an unmistakably racist message. It is not the contention of this report that all Tea Partiers are consciously racist. The evidence presented, however, speaks for itself.

Health care reform legislation had been a flashpoint for Tea Party protests, beginning with a concerted effort to shout down Congressional Democrats at their “town hall” meetings during August 2009. The following November, at a Tea Party protest aimed at health care legislation, ten people were arrested for unlawful entry when they tried to force their way into the offices of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. As the bill moved closer to passage in March 2010, strident voices called for violence. One 1990s-era militiaman from Alabama, Mike Vanderboegh, urged whoever was reading his blog to break the windows of Democrats. “Break them NOW...Break them with rocks...”[233] In the aftermath of this call, the office windows of several members of the House of Representatives were shattered with bricks.

Both polling data and observable evidence point to the fact that Tea Party attendees and their supporters are mostly white. Significantly, these white Tea Partiers show noticeably different attitudes than those of white people generally, particularly in regards to racially charged issues. Tea Partiers are more likely than white people generally to believe that “too much” has been made of the problems facing black people: 52% to 39%.[244]

A striking difference over positive attitudes towards black people showed up in a multi-state poll, conducted in March 2010, by the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality. Of those who strongly disapproved of the Tea Party, 55% agreed with the statement that black people were “VERY hard working.” Of those who strongly approved of the Tea Party, only 18% agreed with the statement that black people were “VERY hard working.” This 24-point difference pointed at Tea Party supporters as more likely to have negative feelings about the work ethic of black people. In fact, 68% of the Tea party “approvers” believed that if only they would try harder, then black people would be as well off as white people. That number fell by almost half, to 35%, when the “disapprovers” answered it.[245]

Further, almost three-quarters of Tea Party supporters (73%), told pollsters that government programs aimed at providing a social safety net for poor people actually encourages them to remain poor.[246] In fact, more than a bit of anecdotal evidence shows hostility and resentment towards the poor and the programs designed to help them. Hence, the signs such as one at an early St. Louis Tea Party that read: “Honk if I am paying your mortgage.” Not every Tea party supporter exhibited such feelings, certainly, but enough of it showed up in opinion polls to give credence to the description of Tea Parties as mean-spirited.

I recommend reading the entire report, "Who is an American? Tea Parties, Nativism, and the Birthers" is also an interesting chapter, one part:
The Revolutionary War-era costumes, the yellow “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden flags from the same era, the earnest recitals of the pledge of allegiance, the over-stated veneration of the Constitution, and the defense of “American exceptionalism” in a world turned towards transnational economies and global institutions: all are signs of the over-arching nationalism that helps define the Tea Party movement.

It is a form of American nationalism, however, that does not include all Americans, and separates itself from those it regards as insufficiently “real Americans.” Consider in this regard, a recent Tea Party Nation Newsletter article entitled, “Real Americans Did Not Sue Arizona.” Or the hand-drawn sign at a Tea Party rally that was obviously earnestly felt. “I am a arrogant American, unlike our President, I am proud of my country, our freedom, our generosity, no apology from me.”

Cross posted from Glass City Jungle

Friday, October 15, 2010

Construction employment numbers

The Associate General Contractors of America (AGC) announced yesterday that construction employment is at a 14-year low.

Association officials noted, “The construction industry continues to suffer from declining investments in construction and broad uncertainty about the future of many federal infrastructure programs and tax rates.”

The unemployment rate for the construction industry stands at 17.2%, while the overall U.S. unemployment rate was 9.6%.

Many economists believe that looking at planned construction projects and the employment rate of construction jobs is a way to see where the economy is headed. This would mean, our recovery at this point is still slow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How far to run away...

This election season has been a draining one for a variety of reasons, it makes it very tempting when I see websites about things like, Branson vacations to plan an escape after November 2nd is a thing of the past. I've gone as far as to check to see how many hours away Branson is from Toledo. Then contemplated on a 12 hour drive with no computer access, which really sounds even more tempting at this point in time.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

With the Iott "Nazi" issue a national media story...

Since the election for the ninth congressional district is one that I've focused quite a bit on my local political blog, for those of you looking for coverage on that story. I recommend some of the blog posts on Glass City Jungle and a piece for the Toledo Free Press that I contributed to.

Iott participated in Nazi re-enactments reports the Atlantic – UPDATED

Iott participation in military re-enactments raising questions

Cantor "would absolutely repudiate" Iott

Military re-enactments focus of Iott & Kaptur releases

And I recommend watching where it all started, on Bill Maher. The below link has video of the clip where Josuha Green, senior editor of the Atlantic shares the photos of Iott dressed in a German SS Wiking uniform.

Link to video.

Some of those on the Maher site slammed P. J. O'Rourke's performance on the show, I have to say the former Toledoan had some moments were he was funny. The Maher crew was also creative with their suggested campaign slogans for Iott. "Today Toledo -- tomorrow the world" was funny.

It's been interesting to watch, I personally don't believe Rich Iott is a Nazi, but I think his campaign could have handled what they knew was coming better and that if he wanted to be involved in re-enactments (which I'm fine with) he might have considered a different unit to pretend about. His comments complimenting the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking and Hitler's Germany as far as their power, easily became campaign fodder.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Altered memories

In a conversation last night with my oldest daughter's boyfriend, we were talking about memories and how they are not really stored as "facts" but more along the lines of associations. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why people have an altered perception of how we each remember something.

However, it surprises me something as recent as the 2008 elections is being re-written by some as to how things really were. Perfect example, this piece by Jennifer Rubin -- LINK, specifically this one part:

After the across-the-board defeats in 2008, conservative pundits didn’t rail at the voters. You didn’t see the right blogosphere go after the voters as irrational (How could they elect someone so unqualified? They’ve gone bonkers!) with the venom that the left now displays

At first I wondered where Rubin was during the 2008 election, where the anger, angst, name calling and general insults began from the right side of the blogosphere during the primary and continued on into the general. I'm not going to play the revisionist game and pretend I was an Obama supporter, I wasn't. Nor am I going to pretend some of the left were any better behaved, they weren't.

However, voter bashing took place and is still continuing to this date, where the blame game is traded by both parties in the never ending game of trying to convince voters each party is the lessor of two evils.

Need some examples of how the right dissed Obama voters?

Here's a classic 2008 moment that the right blogosphere had all kinds of fun with.

Obama Voters = Mentally Stupid and similar post titles were rampant in the blogosphere. The right went after Obama voters with the same passion some on the left went after Palin as far as the insult train.

Part of the problem we face right now is the absence of truth. We are responsible for this because some of us don't want to know the truth, some of us only want to know the truth if it suits our own political philosophical agenda and some of us aren't sure what the truth even is anymore...

A great way to start towards a more truthful society is to stop the bullshit when it comes to pretending one side treats the other with more respect. Maybe some of us do, but there are extremes at both ends that at the end of the day really don't act very different at all.

The internet which could be the greatest tool to bring us forward at times becomes nothing more than a virtual playground. "They started it!" needs to be replaced with "Grow the hell up!"

Dress success

My oldest daughter had been searching for the perfect dress to wear to a wedding in a few weeks. She looked at women's clothing catalogs, online stores and found a few dresses she liked, but the ones she did like were pretty expensive. Since I'm visiting her in AZ right now, we headed off to the mall today to see what we could find. I spotted a dress that was a bit different of a style for her, but I thought it would look amazing on her.

It did.

It was on sale.

Dress success.